American actress and former CNN anchor Andrea Thompson enjoyed a flourishing modeling career before making the transformation to acting in the late 1980s and journalism in the early 2000s. She is known for her roles of the scheming Genele Ericson on “Falcon Crest” (1989-1990, earned a Soap Opera Digest nomination), Talia Winters on “Babylon 5” (1994-1995), Alison Krennick on “JAG” (1996), Detective Jill Kirkendall on “NYPD Blue” (1996-2000, netted three SAG nominations) and Dr. Nicole Duncan on “24” (2003-2004). She has also acted in several films, including Oliver Stone's “Wall Street” (1987), Tom Mankiewicz's “Delirious” (1991, with John Candy), “A Gun, a Car, a Blonde” (1997) and “Rocket's Red Glare” (2000, won a New York International Independent Film & Video Festival Award). Thompson drew controversy in the world of journalism when she was recruited as an anchor on CNN's “Headline News” in 2001, which led to her departure from the network in 2002.
Thompson is a two time divorcee and the mother of 1. She was once romantically linked to Kevin McKown (born in 1952), a co-publisher of Southwest Magazine, and Gianluigi Assenato (born in 1964), an Italian designer.
Childhood and Family:
Rebecca Andrea Thompson, who would later be famous as Andrea Thompson, was born on January 6, 1960, in Dayton, Ohio, to Leslie Gerard Thompson and Mary Thompson Allen. Her family relocated to Australia when she was seven years old. In the 1970s, her parents divorced and she moved back to the United States to live with her mother and three siblings in Florida. The Thompson children were raised in a stern Catholic household.
After dropping out of high school, Andrea spent five years traveling the world and eventually ended up in New York City. She then launched a career in modeling and began taking acting classes at the Strasberg Studio and the Herbert Bergdorf Studios under Uta Hagen.
Andrea married Davod Guc on September 19, 1987, but they divorced in 1990. Five years later, she married Brooklyn-born actor Jerry Doyle (born on July 16, 1956). However, her second marriage also ended and they divorced in 1997. Andrea has a son named Alec Thompson (born in 1992).
Arriving in New York City at age 16, Andrea Thompson was spotted by influential agent Irene Marie and soon entered the world of modeling. She was a successful model and after some training, tried her hand at acting. She said, “Acting is a sense of wonder and magic and mystery for me and when life takes me on a new journey, I simply remember the smile my first ballet recital put on my face and I move forward.”
Andrea first appeared in the Italian made drama “Manhattan Gigolò” and the Henry Sala directed horror film “Nightmare Weekend” (both 1986). In 1987, she landed her first important role in the successful drama “Wall Street,” which was directed by Oliver Stone and starred Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen. In the movie, she was cast as a hooker named Lisa. It was followed by starring roles in “Doin' Time on Planet Earth,” opposite Nicholas Strouse, and the independent comedy “Hot Splash” (both 1988).
Thompson made her television debut in a 1987 episode of Dennis Farina's “Crime Story.” She then appeared in episodes of “Spenser: For Hire” and “Monsters” (both 1988) before receiving a big break with the CBS soap opera “Falcon Crest,” starring Jane Wyman. She joined the popular show in 1989 during its final season and picked up a 1991 Soap Opera Digest nomination for Outstanding Villainess: Prime Time for her role as the calculating Genele Ericson.
After the demise of “Falcon Crest,” Thompson was cast with John Candy and Mariel Hemingway in the comedy film “Delirious” (1991), for director Tom Mankiewicz. She was next seen in a string of guest appearances in television shows such as “Baywatch” (2 episodes, 1991), “Murder, She Wrote” (1 episode, 1991), “Civil Wars” (1992, 1 episode) and “Silk Stalkings” (1 episode, 1993). She did not return to a TV show as a regular until she was cast as Talia Winters in the science fiction series “Babylon 5,” which was created by J. Michael Straczynski. She was on the show from 1994 to 1995 and quit to join the cast of the NBC legal drama “JAG” (1996) in the role of Commander Alison Krennick.
In November 1996, Thompson bounced back when she landed her noted role of Detective Jill Kirkendall on the Steven Bochco police drama “NYPD Blue.“ Starting out as a recurring player in the fourth season, she became a regular cast member the following season and stayed with the show until May 2000. The role brought the actress consecutive Screen Actors Guild nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1998 to 2000). Thompson then left the show to chase a career in journalism.
In the meantime, Thompson took on other projects. She guest starred in “Nowhere Man” (1996) and “Arli$$” (1997), appeared in the movies “A Gun, a Car, a Blonde” (1997) and “Lost Valley” (1998) and narrated the TV film “Sweetheart Swindlers” (2000). She also did voiceover work in the TV series “Captain Simian & The Space Monkeys” (1996) and the short film “Encounter in the Third Dimension” (1999) and made guest appearances in ten episodes of “Hollywood Squares” (1999). In 2000, Thompson played Lois Shayne in Joseph Manduke's family thriller “Rocket's Red Glare” and was handed the Feature Film Award for Best Actress at the 2001 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival for her performance.
Thompson got her start in journalism as a general assignment correspondent for the CBS affiliate KRQE in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a salary of $26,000 per year. Within a year, in June 2001, she landed a coveted gig as an evening anchor on “Headline News,” a half hour national news program that aired on CNN. Despite receiving credit for putting her acting career on the backburner in favor of journalism, Thompson faced harsh criticism with her recruitment at CNN, largely because she was a high school dropout and had only a small amount of experience in the field. It became worst when nude photos and video clips taken of her from the 1980s leaked on the Internet. Eventually, in March 2002, she decided to leave CNN citing lacking time with her young son. She next joined “Court TV” and hosted the network's Saturday night lineup of shows, including “Forensic Files,” “I, Detective,” “Body of Evidence” and “The System.”
In November 2003, Thompson resumed her acting career by having a recurring role on Fox's “24,” where she played Dr. Nicole Duncan. After five episodes, she left the show in April 2004. She also appeared as Justine Hazelton in an episode of “Touching Evil” and as Dr. Lois McCarthy in an episode of “Medical Investigation” (both 2004). In the short film “Passing Darkness” (2005), she was cast as Jessica, opposite Debra Hopkins as Elaine Ways. After a guest appearance in “Bones” (2007), Thompson could be seen as a serious looking woman in the “Heroes: Destiny,” spin-off of “Heroes.”
New York International Independent Film & Video Festival: Feature Film Award, Best Actress, “Rocket's Red Glare,” 2001